AFC East Preview

Jeffrey MannCorrespondent IAugust 18, 2008

Football season is almost here, so here are my predictions, starting with the AFC East.

New England Patriots (14-2)

Clearly the strongest team in the division (relax Jets fans, its ok) it doesn't hurt that they have a cakewalk schedule. Many will be quick to jump on their first two preseason losses as weaknesses, but these will be the same people who didn't realize that they lost all of their preseason games last year. In fact, they have a losing preseason record under Belichick. The offensive line may be their biggest weakness, any more health issues there and it might become a major concern. Their defense is slightly younger than a year ago, that should pay dividends in the form of fourth quarter playoff endurance (see last superbowl for why that might be important).

New York Jets (8-8)

This is only if Brett Favre stays healthy. If he were to go down, the Jets might be picking in the top 5 of the draft again next year. Assuming he's fine, the jets offense should be serviceable. Thomas Jones Will benefit the most from Farve's presence, because without him every team would play 8 or 9 guys in the box. Look for receivers to drop a lot of balls and for the all-time interceptions leader to make a lot of ill advised throws tryin to force that team into the playoffs. Ultimately the defense will not be strong enough to make up for all of Farve's mistakes.

Buffalo Bills (8-8)

The team with the second best offense in the division will be right in the mix to finish .500 with the Jets. Provided Marshawn Lynch stays healthy and Trent Edwards performs well enough to stave off J.P. Losman, the Bills Offense should click fine. Unfortunately for them, they play in the same division as the Patriots and are not good enough to sweep the Jets and Dolphins.

Miami Dolphins (4-12)

On some level, all the returning players from last years' roster will be quite happy to win three more games. After gutting most of their roster in the off season, Miami had only Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams to power their offense. To prevent teams from loading up the box with nine defenders they signed....Chad Pennington, who can't throw more than thirty yards. Look for teams to load up the box and blitz the heck out of Pennington, everyone knows how fragile he is. Look for Chad Henne to start the last few games of the season as they begin rebuilding for 2009.